Effect of palm oil supplementation on carcass yield and fatty acid composition of growing rabbits.
A 12 week feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the effect of palm oil (PO) supplementation at 0% (control), 3% or 5% levels on carcass yields and fatty acid composition of organs of growing rabbits. Results obtained showed that palm oil supplementation did not significantly affect (P> 0.05) carcass and organ yields. Percent analysis however showed that in the heart, myristic acid was highest in the control diet (78.58%), lauric acid in 3% PO (41.56%) and stearic acid in 5% PO (84.43%) groups. In the kidney, there was increased level of palmitic (1.30 - 57.06%) but decreased levels of myristic (43.41 - 0.51%) and oleic acids (9.26 - 8.08%). There were detectable levels of caprylic, linoleic and arachidonic acids in rabbits fed PO diets compared to none in the control group. On the other hand, there were detectable levels of stearic and lauric acids in the control group but none in the PO groups. In the liver, only laurie, stearic and myristic acids were detected, with the latter not detected in the liver of control group. Three rabbits on the control diet died as a result of speticaemia. It was concluded from this study that PO seemed to affect organ fatty acid composition but not on weight of organs. The effect on fatty acid composition was however, not consistent.
Keywords: Rabbit, palm oil, carcass, organs, fatty acid.